ANCHORAGE (KTUU) -
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In 2016, Alaska ranks 47th worst state for business, according to Forbes.
Forbes released its 11th annual Best States for Business list, which measures and compares states’ business climates and predicts future successes. Forbes looks at several categories, including quality of life, cost of doing business and the overall economic climate.
Here are some of the specific reasons that led to Alaska coming in 47th.
Alaska finished #44 in Business Costs, #34 in Labor Supply, #27 in Regulatory Environment, #45 in Economic Climate, #41 in Growth Prospect and #49 in Quality of Life.
Experts say cold weather and recent increases in crime rates, especially in Anchorage, have impacted Alaska's quality of life ranking. The cost of doing business in Alaska is about 13 percent higher than the national average. And for the past several years, some segments of the economy have had trouble filling jobs, due to the lack of qualified workforce.
While the Forbes study is broad, it reveals what many business owners across the state already know - it's tough to do business in Alaska.
"There are a lot of different things that make Alaska a very difficult environment to do business in," said Bill Popp, President of the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation. "Those are challenges, some we can do something about, others we can change them."
Popp says for starters, we need to solve our states fiscal problem in the legislature. He says we also need to work on the cost of health care, and looking forward to the future, Alaska needs to set a path forward to diversify our economy for generations to come.
According to Alaska Chamber President Curtis Thayer, the states current fiscal situation is a direct result of the drop in the price of oil. He says it's impact has trickled down through all sectors of Alaska's economy.
"It's a staggered affect and we're seeing it 12-18 months later," said Thayer. "We're seeing it affect other parts of our economy. We have to look in Fairbanks or Nome, to Ketchikan, we have members all across the state and they're all feeling the pinch to some degree."
The state that Forbes ranks best to do business in is Utah, and the state that ranks worst is West Virginia.